Home / Regulations / Montana House Bill 468 – Hunting Bears with Hounds in Montana

Montana House Bill 468 – Hunting Bears with Hounds in Montana

House Bill 468 is simple and to the point. It would allow hunting bears with hounds in Montana through July 31st. Plain and simple. There are a lot of ways this could be taken by residents of Montana and I’m sure there will be feedback from all over the spectrum. I think this could be good for the state in the regard of management. For example, Idaho allows using hounds for bear harvest in a lot of areas but I see it as a direct management tool. In some areas ground cover and vegetation make it virtually impossible to harvest enough bears each year to help out the ungulate populations. Yes, baiting is allowed in Idaho but it can be very difficult to harvest a mature bear over bait. 

For me, I don’t have an interest in harvesting a bear over bait but it is a great management tool and a good way to introduce kids to hunting and educating them about bears. While I don’t see that baiting will ever be legalized in Montana, hound hunting would be a good management tool and another exciting way to introduce kids into hunting. 

There is a page on Facebook I keep tabs on called Yellowstone Bears. This page harbors many “bear lovers” that voice their sometimes violent opinions. There was a thread started (now removed) bashing this bill and how it is totally unacceptable. The consensus there was that hound hunting is just a way for hunters to be lazy and rely on the dogs to do the work making it easy for them to harvest a bear and take all the glory while pumping up their ego.

 As most hunters know, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. These folks do not and will not accept and understand wildlife management and the importance of harvesting predators if you’re going to have an ungulate harvest as well. The moral of the story is that it will be hard to win over the general public without understanding a bill like this, so hopefully some education can come out of it as well.

There will be a lot of opposition and it will be hard to manage in grizzly bear country but could be used as a vaualble management tool in some areas. I am a huge proponent of spot and stalk bear hunting, it is what I personally enjoy in more open country units of the state. But I can also see the benefits of hound hunting and how it could be a great tool along the Montana/Idaho border and many other portions of the state where spot and stalk bear hunting is very difficult or nearly impossible.


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  1. Dan,

    You could NOT be more right! Until these anti-hunters feel the PINCH of their states economy losing revenue due to lack of elk, mule deer populations etc. Or one of their relatives being attacked by an apex predator due to over population they will continue to WHINE and complain. Here in Colorado is a PRIME example to all the wolf lovers. You want them fine each one of you will receive a bill for the management and up keep of the pack based on your voting ballot. I don’t believe a SINGLE dollar should be removed for the DOW budget from retaining our herds and habitat.

    • Exactly! Just as with the wolf! Oh we can’t kill a sacred animal! But it’s ok to let it destroy an animal on the next to extinction, like the moose and elk in MN.

  2. Educating a liberal that’s a good one. They can only use their thoughts and feelings for their facts or reasoning. They think they are it’s and them’s. Science is obviously not taught since so many think that humans are frogs or clams and can change their sex. Talk about a sick bunch of humans thinking they can identify as a mermaid or leprechaun while cancelling science for their personal feelings. Liberals and democrats are the most disgusting animal on this planet. They cannot be trusted. CCP atleast we know who they are and what they are after. These democrats and liberal fags are destroying America with the idiot pedophile Biden. Country destroyed in less than 100 days. We grow stupidity now a days. The homely and lonely have destroyed this country because they live in the cities that control all votes. Rural votes no longer count.

  3. No way anywhere in USA that any pro-hunting bill will pass – none ever again! Using dogs is nearly as pure and humane method as possible. When a hunter can clearly identify the age and sex of the bear only targeted bears are harvested – pure fact !
    Oh by the way the number of experienced hound men /persons and trained bear hounds is almost zero already ! When a problem bear is found – who is the first person Wildlife managers contact ? A hounds man w good dogs !
    Idiots that indicate managing bears as an expression of manhood or bravado or bragging are beyond ignorant and live in Cities and have never done gone out to see the truth in person. They watch TV that’s all they do and that’s reality to them.
    Our message is and will always be – carrying capacity – too many bears should be managed for the health of the species. Wildlife Biologists know this and using dogs allows discrimination – no Sows. Only an idiot would not understand the value of using dogs to harvest the right bears. It can argued about baiting as an abnormal method – albeit it is effective in harvesting only intended bears.
    The author of this article is not like us but has 24-7 to be out hunting bears and lives right in a forest or mins away the entire season and can spot and stalk. 99% of hunters don’t work in the hunting industry and get 2 weeks vacation to hunt. Spot and stalk for average hunter is maybe .0001% effective unless u again drop 3-5K for an outfitter that has been scouring etc- right ?
    Hounds are the right answer but anything that hits a public vote for pro hunting aspects are not likely to ever pass again. Any anti hunting that hits public vote 100% pass !

  4. Why you feel the need to add that you don’t feel the need to harvest a bear over bait is beyond me?! Is it just to let everyone know that it’s beneath you but it’s ok for other people? It’s the same sort of judgement that is being passed on hunting bears with dogs. Have you ever even hunted over bait? Do you understand the challenge of killing a big bear over bait? Are you 100% confident of sex and size when you are on a spot and stalk bear hunt? I am over bait and I’m sure houndsman are on a dog hunt.

  5. Howdy all so the only debate that should be raised is the amount of bears to be taken. Wether spot and stock or hunting with dogs setting a quota is the only way to truly effect numbers management. California band bear hunting with dogs and the bear numbers have increased so dramatically they have them walking in the streets on Monrovia and Azusa, places where bears should not be! Oh an not to mention bear hunting behind dogs is one of the most physically demanding hunts you will ever be on. Bears are smart and in rough country very difficult to hunt even with dogs. Montana is right in trying to introduce a tool like this!!!

  6. The author makes a comment about “helping out the ungulates” as a reason to allow hunting with hounds. Later he suggests that increased successful hunting of bears is necessary since hunting of ungulates is allowed and that reduces ungulates available to bears. The comments seem to indicate that the author doesn’t understand the balance of nature.
    Since we are hunting ungulates and removing them from the natural bear habitat, we are controlling bear populations by the lack of accessible food. As most hunters know, it’s a balancing act when permits are issued to maintain a more natural environment for the success of species after hunters have entered the area.
    Regardless of the goofy comments regarding “liberals”, while I am definitely a progressive, I’m not against hunting game. But I do try to understand the science behind wildlife management. Is it natural for a bear to be tracked down by hounds and then to be harvested by a hunter?
    Hunting with hounds seems unnatural and unnecessary. If bears are unsuccessfully harvested in one year, the permits can be increased the following year. Nature, as we know, is never in a long lasting balance. Natural resource departments are tasked with managing the balance to the success of all species and hunters.
    On a side note, is harvesting a treed bear a rewarding challenge for a dedicated hunter? Not for me! Are kids learning about bears and hunting when following hounds that do the hunting and trapping of a bear?

  7. Seems there are allot of feelings and thoughts while once again not looking at science or reality. It’s amusing then at same time disheartening. Country has gone to hell because of the lack of intelligence due to the indoctrination of cancel culture and your feelings matter move.

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